Using a Funeral Poem

The use of a bereavement poem, funeral poem or in memory of poems can significantly help with the coping of lost loved ones.  The hopelessness of losing a loved one is often one of the most difficult things anyone ever has to experience in life.  It may be hard to believe at the time but there is hope and one day it will feel better than it does when the loss is new.  There are many experts with varying opinions about the things you can do to get over the loss of a loved one but it really is a unique journey for each individual.  An effectively-chosen poem could make an enormous difference to a funeral.  I have found that using memorial poems, whether you create it yourself or find one that speaks to your heart, can greatly assist with expressing and coping with feelings or can help a friend or family member coping with an unfortunate loss.

You will find these poems in funeral programs and funeral bulletins. The very best funeral poems naturally discuss of sadness, and of loss. However they also have an uplifting feel, a way of valuing the memorable things about an individual’s life, a way of celebration and of love.  Sometimes finding the right words to say at a funeral is quite difficult, poems can often help and give some inspiration. We have examples of these funeral poems below.

Poem as a tribute

When you are asked to speak or are expected to speak at a funeral or remembrance service a bereavement poem is a good way of getting through what you need to express.  Often a memorial poem is used as a tribute in a eulogy or on a memorial site where family and friends can leave words of comfort to each other.

A memorial poem can be used for expressing grief and putting into words what is otherwise difficult to express.  There are all types of  In Memory Of poems, certain poems have been written especially for Grandparents, others for the loss of a child, others for friends and other family members. Funeral poems are meant to be touching and emotional while a memorial poem is meant to help with the process of coping with loss and is often posted on a memorial site by the funeral home.

Creating a Poem

When looking for or creating a poem for a funeral you should keep in mind poems for memorial services need to speak to you, while also referencing the person you have lost and be appropriate to speak to the other grieving friends and family.  Poems for memorial services should not only reference the person that was lost but also be reflective of their life, their relationships or faith and things they loved.

A funeral poem that has been well chosen or well written can become a lifelong keepsake.  Often copies are printed and given out as a keepsake during a memorial service for others who were also close to the deceased.  Sometimes people create a scrapbook utilizing the funeral poem along with placing photos of the deceased.  This memento is often shared on line on a memorial website and allows anyone to go back to it for memory sake.  Using poetry or prose to write down feelings can be a healing way to deal with extreme grief and is beautifully touching to those who are also able to share in reading the poem.

Sharing a poem, going through the process of locating the right funeral poem or creating your own unique poem is a way to wrap up all of the memories you have of a certain person and becomes a way to memorialize those memories and expressions.

 

If Tears Could Build A Stairway

If tears could build a stairway and thoughts a memory lane
I’d walk right up to heaven and bring you home again
No Farewell words were spoken
No time to say good-bye
You were gone before I knew it
And only God knows why.
My heart’s still active in sadness
And secret tears still flow
What it meant to lose you
No one can ever know.
But now I know you want us
To mourn for you no more
To remember all the happy times
Life still has much in store.
Since you’ll never be forgotten
I pledge to you today
A hallowed place within my heart
Is where you’ll always stay.
God knows why, with chilling touch,
Death gathers those we love so much,
And what now seems so strange and dim,
Will all be clear, when we meet Him.
I Knew you for a Moment

A Song Of Living

Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.
I have sent up my gladness on wings, to be lost in the blue of the sky.
I have run and leaped with the rain, I have taken the wind to my breast.
My cheek like a drowsy child to the face of the earth I have pressed.
Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.
I have kissed young Love on the lips, I have heard his song to the end,
I have struck my hand like a seal in the loyal hand of a friend.
I have known the peace of heaven, the comfort of work done well.
I have longed for death in the darkness and risen alive out of hell.
Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.
I give a share of my soul to the world where my course is run.
I know that my another shall finish the task I must leave undone.
I know that no flower, nor flint was in vain on the path I trod.
As one looks on a face through a window, through life I have looked on God,
Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.
Amelia Josephine Barr

While Waiting For Thee

Don’t weep at my grave,
For I am not there,
I’ve a date with a butterfly
To dance in the air.
I’ll be singing in the sunshine,
Wild and free,
Playing tag with the wind,
While I’m waiting for thee.
The Comfort and Sweetness of Peace
After the clouds, the sunshine,
after the winter, the spring,
after the shower, the rainbow,
for life is a changeable thing.
After the night, the morning,
bidding all darkness cease,
after life’s cares and sorrows,
the comfort and sweetness of peace.
Helen Steiner Rice

 

Remember

Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go, yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more, day by day,
You tell me of our future that you planned:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that I once had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be said.
Christina Georgina Rossetti

 

When I Am Gone

When I am gone, release me – let me go
I have so many things to see and do.
You must not tie yourself to me with tears
Be happy that we had so many years. I gave you love,
you can only guess, how much you gave me in happiness.
I thank you for the love each have shown,
but now it is time I travelled alone.
So grieve awhile for me if grieve you must,
then let your grief be comforted by trust
It is only for a while that we must part
so bless those memories within your heart.
I will not be far away, for life goes on.
so if you need me, call and I will come.
Though you cannot see or touch me, I will be near
And if you listen with your heart, you will hear
All of my love around you, soft and clear.
Then when you must come this way alone,
I will greet you with a smile and “Welcome Home”
Anon

 

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And
sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, lon I stood And looked
down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair. And
having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear.
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay. In leave
so step had trodden black
Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet
knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh.
Somewhere ages and ages hence;
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took
the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Lee Frost

 

Asleep

As far from pity as complaint,
As cool to speech as stone,
As numb to revelation
As if my trade were bone.
As far from time as history,
As near yourself to-day
As children to the rainbow’s scarf,
Or sunset’s yellow play
To eyelids in the sepulchre.
How still the dancer lies,
While color’s revelations break,
And blaze the butterflies!
Emily Dickinson

 

God’s Garden

God looked around his garden
And found an empty place,
He then looked down upon the earth
And saw your tired face.
He put his arms around you
And lifted you to rest.
God’s garden must be beautiful
He always takes the best.
He knew that you were suffering
He knew you were in pain.
He knew that you would never
Get well on earth again.
He saw the road was getting rough
And the hills were hard to climb.
So he closed your weary eyelids
And whispered, ‘Peace bethine’.
It broke our hearts to lose you
But you didn’t go alone,
For part of us went with you
The day God called you home.
Anon

 

Let Me Go

When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me
I want no rites in a gloom filled room
Why cry for a soul set free?
Miss me a little, but not for long
And not with your head bowed low
Remember the love that once we shared
Miss me, but let me go.
For this is a journey we all must take
And each must go alone.
It’s all part of the master plan
A step on the road to home.
When you are lonely and sick at heart
Go the friends we know.
Laugh at all the things we used to do
Miss me, but let me go.
When I am dead my dearest
Sing no sad songs for me
Plant thou no roses at my head
Nor shady cypress tree
Be the green grass above me
With showers and dewdrops wet
And if thou wilt remember
And if thou wilt, forget.
I shall not see the shadows,
I shall not fear the rain;
I shall not hear the nightingale
Sing on as if in pain;
And dreaming through the twilight
That doth not rise nor set,
Haply I may remember,
And haply may forget.

 

Four Candles

The first candle represents our grief.
The pain of losing you is intense.
It reminds us of the depth of our love for you.
This second candle represents our courage.
To confront our sorrow,
To comfort each other,
To change our lives.
This third candle we light in your memory.
For the times we laughed,
The times we cried,
The times we were angry with each other,
The silly things you did,
The caring and joy you gave us.
This fourth candle we light for our love.
We light this candle that your light will always shine.
As we enter this holiday season and share this night of remembrance
with our family and friends.
We cherish the special place in our hearts
that will always be reserved for you.
We thank you for the gift
your living brought to each of us.
We love you.
We remember you.
Unknown Author

 

Footprints

One night I dreamed I was walking
Along the beach with the Lord,
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints.
Other times there was only one.
This bothered me because I noticed
During the low periods of my life when I was
Suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.
So I said to the Lord, “You promised me,
Lord, that if I followed you,
You would walk with me always.
But I noticed during the most trying periods
Of my life there has only been
One set of prints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most,
Have you not been there for me?
The Lord replied,
“The times when you have seen only one set of footprints
It was then that I carried you.”

 

Life Is But A Stopping Place

Life is but a stopping place,
A pause in what’s to be,
A resting place along the road,
to sweet eternity.
We all have different journeys,
Different paths along the way,
We all were meant to learn some things,
but never meant to stay…
Our destination is a place,
Far greater than we know.
For some the journey’s quicker,
For some the journey’s slow.
And when the journey finally ends,
We’ll claim a great reward,
And find an everlasting peace,
Together with the lord
Author unknown

 

To My Dearest Family

Some things I’d like to say,
but first of all to let you know
that I arrived okay
I’m writing this from Heaven
where I dwell with God above
where there’s no more tears
or sadness there
is just eternal love
Please do not be unhappy
just because I’m out of sight
remember that I’m with you
every morning, noon and night
That day I had to leave you
when my life on Earth was through
God picked me up and hugged me
and He said I welcome you
It’s good to have you back again
you were missed while you were gone
as for your dearest family
they’ll be here later on
I need you here so badly
as part of My big plan
there’s so much that we have to do
to help our mortal man
Then God gave me a list of things
He wished for me to do
and foremost on that list of mine
is to watch and care for you
And I will be beside you
every day and week and year
and when you’re sad
I’m standing there
to wipe away the tear
And when you lie in bed at night
the days chores put to flight
God and I are closest to you
in the middle of the night
When you think of my life on Earth
and all those loving years
because you’re only human
they are bound to bring you tears
But do not be afraid to cry
it does relieve the pain
remember there would be no flowers
unless there was some rain
I wish that I could tell you
of all that God has planned
but if I were to tell you
you wouldn’t understand
But one thing is for certain
though my life on Earth is o’re
I am closer to you now
than I ever was before
And to my very many friends
trust God knows what is best
I’m still not far away from you
I’m just beyond the crest
There are rocky roads ahead of you
and many hills to climb
but together we can do it
taking one day at a time
It was always my philosophy
and I’d like it for you too
that as you give unto the World
so the World will give to you
If you can help somebody
who is in sorrow or in pain
then you can say to God at night
my day was not in vain
And now I am contented
that my life it was worthwhile
knowing as I passed along the way
I made somebody smile
So if you meet somebody
who is down and feeling low
just lend a hand to pick him up
as on your way you go
When you are walking
down the street
and you’ve got me on your mind
I’m walking in your footsteps
only half a step behind
And when you feel the gentle breeze
or the wind upon your face
that’s me giving you a great big hug
or just a soft embrace
And when it’s time for you to go
from that body to be free
remember you’re not going
you are coming here to me
And I will always love you
from that land way up above
Will be in touch again soon
P.S. God sends His Love
Author Unknown

 

There’s no use in weeping
Though we are condemned to part,
There’s such a thing as keeping
A remembrance in one’s heart.
Charlotte Bronte

 

Though nothing can bring back the hour
of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower,
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind.
William Wordsworth

 

Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep

Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.
Mary Elizabeth Frye

 

Funeral Blues

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone.
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The starts are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the woods;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
W. H. Auden,

 

Life Unbroken

Death is nothing at all,
I have only slipped into the next room
I am I and you are you
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by my old familiar name,
Speak to me in the easy way which you always used
Put no difference in your tone,
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household world that it always was,
Let it be spoken without effect, without the trace of shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It it the same as it ever was, there is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near,
Just around the corner.
All is well.
Henry Scott-Holland

 

On Death (From The Prophet)

You would know the secret of death,
But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day
cannot unveil the mystery of light.
If you would indeed behold the spirit of death,
open your heart wide unto the body of life.
For life and death are one,
even as the river and the sea are one.

In the depth of your hopes and desires
lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;
And like the seeds dreaming beneath the snow
your heart dreams of spring.
Trust the dreams,
for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd
when he stands before the king whose hand
is to be laid upon him in honour.
Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling,
that he shall wear the mark of the king?
Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?

For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind
and to melt into the sun?
And what is it to cease breathing,
but to free the breath from its restless tides,
that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?

Only when you drink from the river of silence
shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top,
then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs,
then shall you truly dance.
Kahlil Gibran

 

A poem can help describe the person in many aspects. Take your time and choose a poem that you feel is relative to your feelings towards that person.
Feel free to look at our Funeral Songs article as well.

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